R2L Turns Up the College-Going Heat in Miami

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CHCI hosted its final Ready to Lead (R2L) of the academic year at Miami Dade College, North Campus on Saturday, May 18, 2013. More than 275 students representing 23 area schools participated in the event that featured Univision’s entertainment reporter & educational spokesperson Carlos Calderón, as well as actor and official R2L spokesperson Wilmer Valderrama.

The event opened with an energetic welcome from MDC North’s Chief Information Officer, Manuel Perez, who invited participants to imagine all of the possibilities available to them as future college students. Students also had the opportunity to participate in workshop sessions focused on three key areas of the college-going process: College Planning, Financial Literacy, and Leadership Development.

Co-presenters Jaime Anzalotta from MDC North, Fred Rosario from Year Up Miami, and William Soto from MDC West, conducted a dynamic session about the necessary steps students need to take to prepare for college. Marycela Diaz-Unzalu and Gloria Guzman from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta provided students with a hands-on budgeting demonstration and ways to finance a college education. Representatives from the CHCI Alumni Association-Miami Chapter Marvin Aguilar, Edith Caballero, Luis Hernandez, and Maria Suarez facilitated a dynamic leadership development session in which students were able to employ their own leadership skills through a fun team-building activity. Additionally, students participated in the AT&T Digital Footprint workshop which focused on the importance of maintaining a positive online presence and how certain online posts may have adverse effects as they seek college admission or employment.

The Mentoring Power Hour featured 60 area professionals and college students, introduced by Univision’s Carlos Calderón, who shared insights from his personal story, pursuing an education in Mexico and the United States and eventually finding his way in front of a camera. Mentors provided students with a sense of possibility and determination as they shared personal stories lined with the common threads of overcoming obstacles and finding success. The Miami community reaffirmed its commitment to Latino youth as mentors represented over thirty businesses, higher education institutions, government agencies, and community based organizations, including sponsors AT&T, State Farm Insurance Companies, Macy’s, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, as well as partners Miami Dade College and Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.

R2L Miami closed with its traditional keynote address from R2L spokesperson Wilmer Valderrama, who shared his moving story about overcoming poverty and finding stardom through his love of the stage. Valderrama entertained questions from the student audience and urged students to ignore negative influences on their way to obtaining an education.

CHCI is proud to continue educating, motivating, and empowering Latino youth in the Greater Miami Area.

For more information on Ready to Lead, please visit: www.chci.org/ready_to_lead

To view the R2L Miami 2013 photo gallery, like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CHCIR2L

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